TV Guide: Let's get this straight: Jack was just roughing you up [in the April 3 episode]. Now you're working with him again?
Kim Raver: There have been so many crazy switches for Audrey, but it works perfectly for her character. Her father was in the military and was secretary of state, so this ability to flip sides for the good of the country it's almost inbred. If it's about saving lives, you get over whatever grudges you have and you move forward.
TV Guide: Moving forward is one thing, but making out with the guy? What was that like?
Raver: Kiefer [Sutherland] and I have a lot of trust in our relationship, and I trusted that we could let go in that scene. But definitely the first time we kissed, we were both so nervous. It was like the first day of school. It felt like jumping off a big bridge. We said, "Let's hold hands and go for it." Plus, if you have to do it with anyone, Kiefer Sutherland is a pretty damned fine choice.
TV Guide: Audrey's a lot tougher lately. Is she eating spinach or something this season?
Raver: I thought it was important after everything she's gone through [the death of her estranged husband and the presumed death of Jack last season] that Audrey would become stronger. Physically, I made a choice to cut off her hair and go less blonde. Last year Audrey cried a lot; this season she needed to become proactive. Otherwise she was totally going to fall apart.
TV Guide: Edgar and Tony are dead. Audrey and Jack are heating up. Has 24 hired a bunch of soap-opera writers?
Raver: It's the intensity of the show that allows you to earn those softer moments. And that's what makes them amazing. Tony and Michelle or Chloe and Edgar or Jack and Audrey will glance across CTU in the middle of a crisis, the audience will go, "Whoa! What was that?" It comes from that fear of losing someone. As 9/11 showed us, you cling to those moments of humanity even more when you don't know if this is going to be your last moment. If all you get is that one fleeting kiss, you have to take it because Jack has to go off and save the world.
TV Guide: What do you do to relax after those tough scenes?
Raver: Kiefer's taught me how to play darts. And chess. I'm not very good.
TV Guide: How hard was it saying goodbye to Carlos Bernard, who's been with the show from Day 1?
Raver: It's tough when anyone leaves the show, but it was especially hard with Carlos. He was more than just another actor. Carlos was a presence on the set. He was very funny and sort of the group prankster. We had a party for him, but looking around I got the feeling nobody not even the producers and writers who wrote him off wanted to see him go.
TV Guide: What's ahead for Audrey?
Raver: We're going to see her establishing contact with her dad [William Devane] in the next episode. She goes to him because he's really the only one she can trust as things turn dark in the White House. Beyond that, I think her future lies with Jack. It may not be physically with him. But I think there's something between them that is one of those rare things between characters, and it will always be there. Whether it's the wedge that keeps them apart or their struggle to come together despite all the odds, their lives will always be intertwined.
Are you a Kim Raver craver? If so, here's some exclusive video "classified," if that floats your 24-loving boat from the actress' recent TV Guide photo shoot.